Prehistory and Antiquity


Stonehenge, England, erected by Neolithic peoples ca. 4500-4000 years ago.
Prehistory is the long period before the invention of writing. It can be divided into Stone Age and the Metal Ages: Bronze and Iron.

Stone Age


A Paleolithic dwelling
Paleolithic (from Greek: (paleo-) "old" + (lithos) "stone") Age, Era, or Period, is a prehistoric era distinguished by the development of the first stone tools. It extends from the introduction of stone tools by hominids such as Homo habilis 2.5 or 2.6 million years ago, to the introduction of agriculture and the end of the Pleistocene around 12,000 BP.The Paleolithic era is followed by the Mesolithic.

In this period, people moved from place to place. They lived by hunting, fishing, and gathering wild plants.

Craftsmen made tools and weapons by hitting one stone against another.


mesolithic farming
The mesolithic (Greek: mesos "middle", lithos stone) or middle stone age was a period in the development of human technology in between the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age and the Neolithic or New Stone Age . The Mesolithic began with our period around 11,660 BP and ended with the introduction of farming, the date of which varied in each geographical region.


Neolithic house
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BP in the Middle East that is traditionally considered the last part of the Stone Age.

In the Neolithic, people lived permanently in one place. They were farmers, had crops, learned to cultivate plants and had domestic animals. In that period, humans were evolving but, there were some species of humans that didn´t resist, because they didn´t have much intelligence to survive of the cruel cold winters and the hot, dry summers.

Craftsmen made polished stone tools and weapons. They also made pots and cloth. external image moz-screenshot.jpg

Unlike the Paleolithic, where more than one human species existed, only one human species (Homo sapiens) reached the Neolithic.

Metal Ages

Bronze Age

7,000 years ago the humans of the Near East learnt to make tools out of copper . Around the year 3,000 B,C they they discovered a stronger alloy: The Bronze Age had arrived.
The Bronze Age refer to a period of time in prehistoric societies where metallurgy had advanced to the point of making bronze.The Bronze age is more advance than the Stone Age, in which artifacts and tools are largely made from carved stone.The Bronze Age primarily took place between 3500 BP and 1200 BP.The Bronze Age was important to mankind because it allowed us to create more durable tools and artifacts for productive use. During the Bronze Age, much of humanity was segmented into thousands warring tribes.Small nations did exist, but it would be many centuries before countries resembling any of those today- such as the Roman Empire- came into existence.

Iron Age

images1.jpgIn archaeology, the iron age is the prehistoric period in any area during which cutting tools and weapons were mainly made of iron or steel. The adoption of this material coincided with other changes in society, including differing agricultural practices, religious beliefs and artistic styles. The Iron Age is the last principal period in the three-age system for classifying prehistoric societies, preceded by the Bronze Age and the Stone Age. Its dates and context vary depending on the geographical region. The Iron Age in each area ends with the beginning of the historical period. In the 12th century BC in the ancient Near East, ancient india, ancient Iran, and ancient Greece.

The Iberian Peninsula in pre-Roman Times


The Lady of Elche, made by Iberians
The Iberians were a set of peoples that Greek and Roman sources identified with that name in the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian peninsula at least from the 6th century BC.

The Iberians lived in the east and south of the peninsula. They lived in walled settlements with rectangular houses. The Iberians were divided into tribes. They were herders, farmers, traders and craftsmen. Some of their works of art, such as the famous Lady of Elche have been preserved.


Celtic cross
The Celts lived in the centre and north of the peninsula. They lived in walled settlments with round houses. The Celts were also divided into tribes.They were herders, farmers and expert metalworkers. The Celts in Iberia were divided into two main archaeological and cultural groups, even though that division is not very clear:
  • One group was spread out along Galicia and the Iberian Atlantic shores.
  • The other group, the Celtiberian, lived on the upper Ebro valley.


hispania1.jpgMany ancient civilizations established colonies on the Iberian peninsula.


Phoenician alphabet
The Phoenicians came from Asia, and settled on the southern coast of Spain. They founded the cities of Cadiz and Almunecar.

The Phoenicians were also the first state-level society to make extensive use of the alphabet. The Phoenician phonetic alphabet is generally believed to be the ancestor of almost all modern alphabets.
The oldest known representation of the Phoenician alphabet is inscribed on the sarcophagus of King Ahiram of Byblos, dating to the 11th century BP at the latest.


Greek ruins in Ampurias
In Ancient Greece, colonies were sometimes founded by vanquished peoples, who left their homes to escape subjection at the hand of a foreign enemy; sometimes as a sequel to civil disorders, when the losers in internecine battles left to form a new city elsewhere; sometimes to get rid of surplus population, and thereby to avoid internal convulsions. But in most cases the object was to establish and facilitate relations of trade with foreign countries.

There were two similar kinds of colonies, apoikiai and emporia. The first were city-states on their own; the second were Greek trading-colonies.
The Greeks came from Greece, and settled on the Mediterranean coast. They founded the cities of Denia and Ampurias.
To now more about Ampurias click here. To now more about Denia click here. Click here to see more about Ampurias.


A Carthaginian battle
Carthaginians came from north Africa and settled on the Mediterranean coast. They founded the city of Carthagena.

The Carthaginian Empire was a monarchy and later a republic of Phoenician city-states throughout North Africa and modern Spain which lasted from about 650 Bc

Prehistory Timeline

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